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Westhaven Worldwide Logistics

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Are Soft Factors What Makes The Corporate Culture Soft?

Corporate culture and the age of a company are in direct relation to each other: The older the corporation the more developed and prominent the corporate culture. It develops with success but even more with failure. The corporate culture shows it real value when the company goes through a crisis:
  • Do employees stick and work together?
  • Do employees help each other?
  • Is the blame game the most important task at hand?


“Companies that understand the importance of customers and employees and treat them accordingly, easily outperform those that don’t.”1

“Many studies have shown that as many as one third of all employees consider fun to be an important part of the corporate culture.”2

But—what are soft and hard factors?


We have to distinguish between measurable (hard) and non-measurable (soft) factors. Does this definition make it any easier? One might think that stock quantities qualify as a hard factor; just until the moment we realize how accurate those numbers are when we do not find in the stock what should be still there. It is obvious that the boundaries are neither set in stone nor the same for every company. It is amazing how many try to compare what they have found to be factors at one company with the situation at another company. After all, the change of factors is more important then their classification.

Too often soft factors are seen as less important then the hard factors—after all, they are only “soft”… This opinion does not take into consideration that factors are seen different in different companies. Sometimes even within the same corporation.

Many managers are uncomfortable with talking about or considering soft factors: It is seen as weak.

Do you think soft factors are weak?

Think about it: Feelings are a soft factor, right? Do you think the bond between a parent and their child is anything but strong?

How much is your corporate culture influenced by hard and soft factors?

By workers, management and leadership?



1 As described from John Cotter and James Heskett, Corporate Culture and Performance (Free Press 1992) in their research of more then two hundred big companies over an 11-year period.
2 Stop Telling… Start Leading! p. 133

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